Ohio Secretary of State confirms 2004 election could have been stolen
Ohio's Secretary of State announced this morning that a $1.9 million official study shows that "critical security failures" are embedded throughout the voting systems in the state that decided the 2004 election. Those failures, she says, "could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State." They have rendered Ohio's vote counts "vulnerable" to manipulation and theft by "fairly simple techniques."
Indeed, she says, "the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant."
In other words, Ohio's top election official has finally confirmed that the 2004 election could have been easily stolen. Brunner's stunning findings apply to electronic voting machines used in 58 of Ohio's 88 counties, in addition to scanning devices and central tabulators used on paper ballots in much of the rest of the state.
The final official tally for Bush---less than 119,000 votes out of 5.4 million cast---varied by 6.7% from exit poll results, which showed a Kerry victory. Exit polls in 2004 were designed to have a margin of error of about 1%. In various polling stations in Democrat-rich inner city precincts in Youngstown and Columbus, voters who pushed touch screens for Kerry saw Bush's name light up. A wide range of discrepancies on both electronic and paper balloting systems leaned almost uniformly toward the Bush camp. Voting procedures regularly broke down in inner city and campus areas known to be heavily Democratic.
Brunner has now recommended that all Ohio's voting be done on optical scan ballots, with reliance on central tabulation. Voters with disabilities could use AutoMark machines with bar coding devices that allow the marking of ballots with little or no additional assistance.